Presidential Debate #1: An Opinionated Re-Cap

Whew! It finally happened! The first debate is now behind us and everyone can breathe a sigh of relief until just before the second presidential debate on October 9th. There will be a Vice-President debate before then on October 4th…but…UMMmmm, I hate to break it to Mike Pence and Tim Kaine, but most folks are not sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for that one. Warning: There is a lot to say so this post is a lot longer than usual.

The Moderator: Calm, Cool, and Collected
The debate began with Lester Holt welcoming the viewing audience, introducing the candidates, and explaining the rules for the night. His tone was calm and he did not talk too fast or too slow. He explained that he would ask the same question to both candidates and that each would have 2 minutes to respond. He listed three topics that he hoped to question them on which were: 1) Achieving Prosperity, 2) America’s Direction, and 3) Securing America. So this very opinionated re-cap will be discussed accordingly. Direct quotes from Hillary Clinton are in blue and quotes from Donald Trump are in red.

#1 – Achieving Prosperity
Question: Why are you a better choice than your opponent to create the kinds of jobs that will put more money into the pockets of America workers?
Hillary Clinton went first and was specific about the kind of jobs she plans to invest in (infrastructure, clean energy jobs, etc.) but did not elaborate on HOW she plans to invest in creating those jobs. Will it be through academic education, training programs, both? Then it was Donald Trump‘s turn. He began by talking about how jobs are fleeing the country and that he would stop company from leaving by reducing their taxes. Holt later asked him how he planned to bring back the millions of jobs he promised but Trump never answers that. He says that Mexico is taking our jobs and that we need to re-negotiate trade deals. He then blamed Hillary for not having already done that. Lester Holt asked again how Trump planned to bring the jobs back that he promised. His response was “Well, the first thing you do is don’t let the jobs leave.”  SOOooooo, TRANSLATION- Donald Trump does not have a plan to bring millions of jobs back like he has promised. So for anyone who is voting for Trump because they believe he is going to bring jobs back from overseas, should find another reason.

American Prosperity Cont’d – Hillary and Trump on the Wealthy and Taxes
Still on the first topic, Hillary was allowed to chime in and she chose to remind folks that Trump was very enthusiastic about the housing crisis and quoted him as saying “Gee, I hope  it does collapse, because then I can go in and make some money.” Trump  interrupted her by proudly exclaiming “That’s called business, by the way.”  I do not know about you, but this blogger shuttered after hearing those words. I am just not comfortable with someone who brags about benefiting from an event that nearly devastated the very country they want to be in charge of. It seems contradictory because if something is economically bad for the country  but is good for his business, can I seriously trust him to go against his own interest and prevent it?

They candidates remained on the first topic for a long time, primarily because Trump would often interrupt Clinton to say something, then Holt had to allow her a chance to respond. I admit that I found the frequent interruptions by Trump to be annoying and rude. It was during those points that I felt like I was watching an argument instead of a debate.Somehow Trump found a way to fit ISIS in the topic…but I don’t know how. Finally, when it comes to creating jobs…Trump said “Well, I’m really calling for major jobs because the wealthy are going to create tremendous jobs. They’re going to expand their companies. They’re going to do a tremendous job.” Well…I was not aware that just being wealthy resulted in job creation. This is a very capitalist and individualistic society that does not believe in sharing the wealth. I have to admit that my working class status has jaded me and I do not think further reducing taxes for wealthy people and businesses will help improve anything. My understanding is that the wealthy hardly pay taxes now…so I am not sure how MORE tax cuts will make things better?

American Prosperity Cont’d – Trump on Paying Federal Taxes
Trump was asked about releasing his tax returns and his response was, as expected, that he was being audited. When pushed further, he responded he would release his tax returns when Hillary releases her emails. That issue is dead horse that we just need to stop beating. The Political Great Whine tackled the issue of releasing documents in the post titled Show Me Yours and I will Show You Mine. Hillary continued to hammer at Trump on not releasing his taxes and stated that the last time his tax returns were made public was when he applied for a casino license and it revealed he did not pay any federal income taxes for those years. Trump interrupted to say “That makes me smart.” She retorted that “So if he’s paid zero, that means zero for troops, zero for vets, zero for schools or health.” To her point, that is true. Our federal income tax is a source of revenue for the country which is used to pay for all of the things Hillary listed. So it is indeed troubling that the wealthy businessman who gloats about getting out of paying much needed federal taxes wants to now run the country. I doubt that he will use his own money to pay for increasing military expenditures as he has promised. That coupled with the fact that he wants more tax reductions for the wealthy. So who does he thinks will then have the burden of paying for everything? I do not know about you, but when I look at my gross pay and what I take home, I really cannot afford to take up the slack for the wealthy just because they, according to Trump, deserve a break. Give them a KitKat bar but do not cut their taxes!

 #2 America’s Direction – FINALLY!
Alas, Lester Holt was able to move on to the second topic/category of questions on America’s Direction. His question was “…Race has been a big issue in this campaign, and one of you is going to have to bridge a very wide and bitter gap. So how do you heal the divide?

So in a nutshell, Hillary’s response was “…And we’ve got to do several things at the same time. We have to restore trust between communities and the police.” Trump was asked the same question and his response was “But we need — Lester, we need law and order. And we need law and order in the inner cities, because the people that are most affected by what’s happening are African-American and Hispanic people.” HMMmmmm, I am pretty sure that saying things like bringing  “law and order” is not very comforting to communities of color in the inner cities.  In agreement with Hillary, the issue seems to be lack of trust between inner city communities and law enforcement and you can’t build trust by using force!  He continued to press his point even further by saying that he would bring back “Stop and Frisk”. I do not imagine that Trump gained any votes among Blacks and Hispanics with that one.

In Conclusion – Donald Trump and Birtherism (Really…let’s just end that discussion)
As much as Holt tried to keep the candidates focused, it just was not to be. For the rest of the debate, the topics ranged from birtherism, ISIS, beauty pageants, to Hillary’s stamina.  Briefly on the birtherism issue, Trump continues to boast that he was the one who got President Obama to show his birth certificate and Hillary did not. He really does not get that therein lies the problem! The fact that he demanded that the first African-American President “show his papers” to prove he is an American was indeed racist and disrespectful. Period…the end.

This was an unusually long post, so thank you for getting through it. The opinions expressed in this blog are just that…opinions! You are encouraged to comment with your own opinions which are all welcomed…just keep it clean and respectful!

Thanks for “listening” to me whine. Hopefully my whining has made you think. If so, tell your friends/family/colleagues that you heard it through the Political Great Whine!




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